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Best Shock Collars Updated November 2018
Brand FieldTrainer SD-425
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Great for boundary training, this is the best shock collar on the market.
The 7-level remote is easy to use and effective for up to 500 yards. You can train 3 dogs with 1 system. A quick charge (about 2 hours) will last for 50–70 hours.
The remote doesn’t light up, making it difficult to use during nighttime potty breaks.
Yard & Park Dog Trainer
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Use a variety of settings to nip bad behavior in the bud.
This shock collar has the widest range of 800 yards, it comes with 8 settings, and it’s the most adjustable collar with a length of 28 inches. You can also train up to 3 dogs on this system.
It’s very slow to charge and some customers wish it was compatible with the PetSafe invisible fence system
DW-3 Electronic E-Collar
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A solid option for large dogs that are at least 15 pounds. It’s one of the best electronic dog collars available.
This training collar has a powerful vibration setting that dogs quickly respond to. Many customers say they rarely need to use the shock button.
It doesn’t hold a charge for long, the buttons are not clearly marked, and it’s not waterproof. It’s also not the best shock collar for smaller dogs.
100% Waterproof & Rechargeable Dog Shock Collar
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A limited range makes it better for in-house training.
It’s easy to assemble and use. The rounded prongs make it more comfortable for your pet. The loud tone is often all it takes to get Fido’s attention with this training collar.
It has a limited range—only 220 yards—but that may be all you need if you have a small yard.
Remote Dog Training Collar
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Works well for especially stubborn dogs.
This collar is covered under a 3-year warranty after registration. Customers report this to be a tried and true waterproof collar.
The remote isn’t super intuitive, so it can be difficult to switch between 2 collars. The device also uses a sleep mode to conserve battery, causing it to turn off.
There’s certainly some controversy around using shock collars for dogs. There are pros and cons to using these corrective systems and we’re sure there have been several cases when this product has unfortunately been misused. However, we believe shock collars can be a great tool to train dogs and keep them safe if used properly. We did some digging and identified some safe training collars and learned how to use them. We also turned to verified customers to find the five best shock collars that are as effective as they are humane.
Shock Collar Reviews Guide
Shock collars are often used to teach pups to stay in the yard. With a little shock collar training, they give dogs the freedom to walk side-by-side with their owner (sometimes without their leash). Shock collars can also correct bad behavior like excessive barking, digging in the couch or backyard, and nosing through the trash.
You’ll find our collar comparison above helpful if you’re ready to buy. We’ve listed the pros and cons and best use case for each of the best shock collars, so you know exactly what to expect when your product arrives.
There are of course some parameters every pet owner should follow when using electric dog collars. You’ll have to consider your dog’s age and size, your yard size, and the scenarios in which you’ll be using this training system. We’ve outlined these criteria and some dog training tips below.
How shock collars work
Shock collars were first used in the 1960s to train hunting dogs, but today they’re used for most dog breeds for purposes like boundary training and bark control. Shock collars are safe when used responsibly. The shock is enough to pique your pup’s attention and though it may surprise them, it won’t result in any lasting physical harm.
The best shock collars are designed with three basic functions—beep, vibrate, and shock. The beep acts as a verbal warning, which basically allows the owner to tell their dog “no” from afar. Our editor remembers using this tone on her West Highland Terrier, which is an infamously “yippy” breed.
The second setting (vibrate) will administer a moderate vibration through the prongs of the collar. This is a physical warning that can be used when your dog starts testing its limits. For example, you might use the vibration when you catch a glimpse of your dog picking up pace toward the neighbor’s yard.
The third setting is the shock button, which should be rarely used and only on the occasion that your dog is out of line—physically or behaviorally. Countless customers have reported that they’ve used the shock button only two or three times over a matter of months or even years.
Look for collars with variable shock settings so you can adjust the power behind the shock. An efficient shock level will vary based on the collar, your dog’s size, and possibly their stubbornness.
With the right training method, a shock collar may actually let your dog off its tight leash and grant it the freedom to roam and play without strict supervision.”
Types of shock collars
Intention: Boundary training
Pros—No remote control or owner supervision required. The system will deliver a vibration when your dog gets close to your property line and it will deliver a shock before it crosses that line.
Cons—An invisible fence requires some manual installation and it may not work well with sloped lots or oddly shaped yards.
Intention: Correct bad behavior on the spot
Pros—Allows pet owners to have full control of commands and react in real time, which makes dog training easier and more effective.
Cons—Remotes that aren’t clearly marked or user-friendly are prone to accidental shocks.
Intention: Reduce excessive barking
Pros—Ultrasonic collars use a verbal command only your dog can hear rather than physical warnings.
Cons—Sometimes dogs bark for a good reason and this automatic collar may overcorrect and deter justifiable warning signs.
Best shock collar for correcting bad behaviorPETSAFE YARD & PARK DOG TRAINER
The PetSafe training collar is the most adjustable shock collar on our list. Choose from two tone levels to give your pet a verbal warning when they act out. For those nervous about sending too much of a shock to their dog, this collar has eight shock levels that you can adjust according to your dog’s size and responsiveness. It also has the widest range of all the products we reviewed. Your dog will love their newfound freedom of up to 800 yards. Have multiple pets at home? No problem. Dog lovers can train up to three dogs on this system.
Owners must be empathetic toward their animals. Dogs often bark out of fear or anxiety. Even if you correct the barking, you’re not addressing the root of the cause.”
3 Major factors to consider
A wide range is what makes shock collars so convenient. A large range is especially useful if you’re using shock collars primarily outside. This means you don’t have to physically go outside with your pet in order to correct their behavior. If you’re training your dog to stay alongside you during your evening strolls, a shock collar with a wide range will still work in the case that your dog wanders off the beaten path. A shock collar with a shorter range is better for owners who are using the collar to correct bad behavior within the house.
Remote controls should be clearly marked to prevent shocking your dog accidentally, which can confuse them. Take some time to learn the different buttons and settings on the remote control when you receive the collar. Understand which buttons are responsible for each of the tone, vibrate, and shock functions. Some customers have complained that their remote doesn’t light up, which can make potty breaks difficult in the middle of the night. Others have reported remotes with sticky buttons.
Four of the five shock collars for dogs we featured above are waterproof. If you live in a mild climate—say, California—you may not need a waterproof shock collar. However, an electric dog collar can be totally useless after one run through the rain.
Best waterproof shock collarPETRAINER REMOTE DOG TRAINING COLLAR
The Petrainer Training Collar is great for pets who live in places with heavy or frequent rainfall or those who simply can’t resist puddles. Countless verified customers have attested to the water resistance of this electric dog collar. Some other notable qualities include adjustable stimulation from zero to 100, its 330-yard range, and its two-dog training system.
Training collars may be used to correct bad behavior, but they should not be used to punish dogs.”
Best practices for dog training collars
Read all of the instructions before training your dog with a shock collar. Some collars even come with an instructional DVD, which many customers find helpful.
Don’t introduce your dog to an electric collar until it understands basic commands, like sit and stay.
Let your dog wear the collar for a week before actually turning it on. This gives pets time to get used to it and allows owners to adjust the collar to a comfortable position.
Introduce the electric collar on the lowest setting. If your dog doesn’t respond, gradually increase the stimulation levels.
Be consistent with your commands.
Avoid placing the remote in your pocket. If a button is accidentally pushed, it could deliver an unwarranted zap that might confuse your dog.
Remove the electric collar whenever you don’t intend to use it. The prongs could be uncomfortable. Routinely check your dog’s neck for signs of discomfort and irritation.
Don’t forget to reward your pet after a job well done.
Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan encourages pet owners to be clear and consistent with rules, boundaries, and limitations. Prevent overexcitement by giving your dog a job to do. A task can distract them from what’s making them anxious and enhance their concentration.”
Frequently asked questions
What’s the best shock collar?
The SportDOG Brand FieldTrainer is the best dog training collar because it has seven settings, a range of 500 yards, and a straightforward remote that’s easy to use. It’s also waterproof and has the capacity to control three collars at once. SportDOG also manufactures the best invisible fence although the two systems are not compatible.
How do I get my dog to stop barking?
Remember, barking is your dog’s way of communicating with you. They often bark out of excitement or fear, but sometimes they’ll bark because they’re bored. If this is the case, make sure your dog gets enough exercise, refrain from excitedly greeting them, and enforce consistent and clear discipline.
Are shock collars cruel?
As long as owners take the time to read instructions, understand how to use the product, and use shock collars to train their pet, not punish them, then shock collars are not cruel.